Automakers respond to widening guts


As Americans grow heftier, automakers are making seats wider, adding more space to interiors and using bigger virtual mannequins to help design vehicles.

Domestic automakers say they already had seats for increasingly rotund motorists. Now foreign brands are catching up.


Extra-wide seats are important now that 62% of adults are considered overweight or obese, according to market research firm NPD Group. The figure has doubled since the late 1970s.

I know it’s not very PC, but obesity bugs me. It’s unhealthy. And it’s not just a little unhealthy, it’s seriously unhealthy – it puts a huge drain on our healthcare system. I can’t imagine your quality of life is all that great either. Not to mention the fact that it’s unattractive. But here’s the real kicker. It’s 100% within the individual’s ability to control.* I think that’s what bugs me the most.

So this is yet another sign of the obesity epidemic upon us. And once again, society seeks to make it even easier to be obese, rather than leave the incentive for obese people to do something about their health.

*Caveat – there do exist legitimate medical conditions which cause obesity that are outside the individual’s ability to control. But these affect such a small percentage of the obese population that I tend to disregard it. My apologies to anyone who might suffer from one of these maladies; my criticism is purely directed towards those who are obese as a result of lifestyle choices.


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